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Old 08-01-2010, 10:04 AM
Location: California
16 posts, read 51,636 times
Reputation: 11


Hi all,

This is my first post on city-data so please bear with me!

I know that this is the Special Needs Children forum but I am hoping that someone can help me anyway.

I am currently researching a move from Southern California to Central Florida that will likely take place in 2013.

Making the move will be my husband, our kids, myself and possibly my mother.

My two oldest "kids" both have special needs. My daughter, who has Down Syndrome, will be turning 22 in Sept. 2013 and my son, who has PDD, will be turning 19 in Oct. 2013. In addition, the youngest, who is NDA, will be turning 5 in Aug. 2013.

So here are my questions, finally:

What kind of services are there for young adults with special needs in Florida/Central Florida?

Does Florida offer medical benefits for those people with special needs that receive SSI (as California does)? Does Florida supplement the SSI (as California does)?

What is the school system like for older "children" with special needs? (Special Education until they are 21/22 means my then 19 year old would still be eligible to be in school, right?)

As far as central-ish Florida, are there any better areas to live with people with special needs?

Any tips as to anything else that we might need to know, have in hand or research before we make the move would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all so much for your help and if there is somewhere else that would be more appropriate for me to post these questions, please let me know, even if not on the city-data forums.

Thanks again,

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Old 08-01-2010, 11:50 AM
Location: South Carolina
13,104 posts, read 17,640,353 times
Reputation: 22444
As a former florida resident florida has one of the worst school systems and florida has a faltering economy so dont expect to get any supplements like california does . Be preparred for a culture shock as well since florida is nothing like california . If I were you I would visit some of the areas you are looking to move to and stay about a week and see if you really like it . It is terribly hot there and much more different climate than california .
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:07 PM
Location: California
16 posts, read 51,636 times
Reputation: 11

I am definitely not looking for Florida to be anything at all like California is as far as services go. And I have spent at least a week in Florida in February, March, June, July, August, September, October and December so am pretty familiar with the humidity, heat, bugs, etc.

I am kind of just hoping for someone that may be there that can give me a heads up about what to expect.

As far as the schools go, if they are that bad my then 19 year old does not legally have to be in school anymore. If I find it is going to be that bad I will find out what needs to be done to get him his certificate of completion before the move and then will only have to worry about adult services upon moving. As far as my then five year old goes, my intent is for my mother and I to homeschool him (I taught special education for four years and my mother has been a regular ed teacher for 21 years).

I know that here once the kids hit 21 years old, they can no longer be on our medical insurance so here the medical with their SSI would help but if that is
not available in Florida that would be good to know.

I guess I would just like to hear what is available for them or not in Florida and then we can kind of prepare for the need for funding things ourselves, etc. as needed.

The faltering economy is something that I think both states are looking at just about equally so that will not be anything new to us and you never know maybe things will turn around a bit in three years. (Yeah, I know, not likely but I'm trying to think positively!)
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:54 PM
5,563 posts, read 7,637,571 times
Reputation: 5829
I would call social services in FL.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:23 PM
36 posts, read 110,838 times
Reputation: 22
Sorry, I can't answer your question as I've never been to FL, but I was just wondering: what does NDA mean?
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:10 PM
Location: California
16 posts, read 51,636 times
Reputation: 11

Sorry, NDA means Not Diagnosed with Anything! They used that a lot when I was on some Down Syndrome message boards about 15 years ago.


I have done some research but there is nothing at all like actually talking to or getting input from people that have lived it or are living it! I will definitely be making some phone calls in the near future.

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Old 08-01-2010, 11:06 PM
36 posts, read 110,838 times
Reputation: 22
Nice one Florida4Me13! I work in pediatrics and have never come across it (although I have to admit we were taught the FLK acronym - funny looking kid) - so I will remember yours, thanks!
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:40 AM
Location: Wandsworth
25 posts, read 52,158 times
Reputation: 13
I really wonder why you have started thinking much before the move?
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Location: California
16 posts, read 51,636 times
Reputation: 11

I am planning this far ahead so that I can be prepared and to make sure that I do what is best for my family members. Which I'm sure anyone would agree is better than not knowing anything at all about where you are moving and then getting there and not being able to help them support themselves in any way, etc.

I am also not a spur of the moment person!

I apologize if I offended you somehow by asking this far in advance.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:17 AM
248 posts, read 415,464 times
Reputation: 83
I'm in PA, and we are planning a move back to NJ where we are originally from. The autism services are really good in NJ & PA. But my husband just got a job offer in Orlando. We would love to move there but have a 3 yr old with autism. So I've also be researching, and so far everyone has to me to stay up north. The services in FL are terrible. I wish this wasn't true, because I'd love to move south again (lived in Bradenton, FL for 5 yrs) If you find anything positive about the Orlando area, let me know!
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